Rigondeaux: The only way to fight Lomachenko was to go to 130
By Chris Williams: Super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux reveals that he wanted to fight Vasyl Lomachenko when he was fighting at featherweight, but he couldn’t get him to agree to fight him. Now that Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) is fighting at super featherweight at 130, he suddenly has changed his tune and is willing to fight him.
Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) points out that he wanted to meet Lomachenko at 126 for this fight, but the only way he could get him to face him was to come all the way up from 122 to 130. Rigondeaux doesn’t think too highly of Lomachenko for him not wanting to meet him halfway between their 2 weeks because he must move up 2 divisions to face Lomachenko at super featherweight.
As confident as Lomachenko is, it only makes sense for him to have given Rigondeaux a weight allowance by meeting him at least a portion of the way in between their 2 weight classes. But apparently that was a no go for this fight.
“I wanted to fight him when he was at 126,” Rigondeaux said to ESPN.com. “And we tried and we tried and we tried and he wouldn’t step in the ring with me. Now he is at 130 and wants to step in the ring with me because he believes now he has the advantage over me.”
That doesn’t sound doesn’t sound good, does it? First Lomachenko wouldn’t fight Rigondeaux when he was fighting at 126. And now that Lomachenko has moved up to 130, he STILL won’t fight Rigondeaux at 126. Something about that weight class that doesn’t seem to work for Lomachenko. Who knows? It does sound bad what Rigondeaux is saying about Lomachenko only wanting to fight him now because he believes he’s got enough of an advantage of him to feel confident enough to finally make the fight.
Rigondeaux has always had problems getting the top guys to fight him since he turned pro in 2009. Rigondeaux has scared off his competition at 122, which is why he’s moving up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko on Saturday night for his WBO super featherweight title.
The belt is less important to Rigondeaux than just getting the win. He wants to add Rigondeaux’s scalp to his resume, because that name will open doors for him hopefully. Rigondeaux might need to stay at 130 for him to continue to get fights. If Rigondeaux moves back down to 122, he’ll be avoided even more than ever.
“I went up to 130 (pounds) because it was the only way I could get this fight made,” Rigondeaux said. “I would rather it have been at a lower weight, but I want to show the world that I can do it by moving up two weight classes.”
Lomachenko stands to lose a lot by getting beaten by Rigondeaux on Saturday. It doesn’t appear that Lomachenko fully thought out the ramifications of him losing to Rigondeaux. By making Rigondeaux move up all the way from super bantamweight at 122, it takes the ability for Lomachenko to have a good excuse to give to the boxing media and public should he lose to the Cuban star. At least if Lomachenko had come down to 126, he could blame the loss partly on him having to take weight off to make 126.
Some sympathetic Lomachenko fans would buy into his excuses and not abandon ship on him and move on to more talented fighters to support. We heard excuses after Lomachenko’s loss to Orlando Salido three years ago. Lomachenko’s boxing fans didn’t blame him for the loss because Salido had a small weight advantage. That gave Lomachenko partial cover for losing to Salido. But if Lomachenko gets beaten by Salido on Saturday, there isn’t any excuse he can give for the fight at least in terms of weight. I guess Lomachenko can say that Rigondeaux had the advantage because he moved up in weight, and sometimes fighters get stronger when they’re allowed to add weight.